The story of Al Capone and his stone house in Old Port

Throughout the years, a myriad of stories have been heard about Al Capone and the legendary gangster’s stay in Puerto Peñasco, a town in Sonora which during the 1920’s had become one of the preferred hiding places of the leader of the famous Chicago bootlegger group whenever he was fiercely persecuted by the US government.

There are even people who have placed Peñasco as a “point of reference” when speaking about the arrival of the most famous foreign gangsters, the legendary Capone being the most important, and this presently has become a powerful draw for Rocky Point.

Johnny Stone and Sofus Jansen

It is said that in 1920, a known US bootlegger named Johnny Stone, “discovered” a paradise which was ready to be exploited as a vacation site and also in a preferred position to manufacture alcoholic beverages which could then be transported into the United States.

Johnny Stone, who in a plane together with another gangster called Sofus Jansen, flew over the coast of Sonora and saw a place which was hardly accessible by land and furthermore had a beautiful beach. Stone immediately informed his bosses that he was in a location close to the United States and that this was a piece of land “untouched by human hands”. The “project” was approved and they built a hotel which they called the Marina Club, but which later was renamed by the area’s inhabitants as the Hotel de Piedra (Stone Hotel) which became the vacation spot for the most famous bootleggers and smugglers of the times.

Al Capone himself

Al Capone, the most emblematic Mafioso of his time, was invited to visit Puerto Peñasco and as soon as he saw the splendid majestic desert and ocean he was so impressed with the area that he decided it would become his hideaway, at least until the persecution of the authorities “cooled” down.

It is said that during the years of Prohibition in the United States gangsters arrived by boat to enjoy the sun and peace of Puerto Peñasco or Rocky Point, as it was dubbed by its first visitors due to the predominance of rocky spots.

They set-up a “still” in the hotel where they produced an alcoholic beverage similar to moonshine, which for years was smuggled to San Francisco, California and from there was distributed to the rest of the United States.


Everything was going well for the gangsters in this place where no one bothered them; there were no roads and the inhabitants of the nearby ranches did not meddle with them until the local fishermen started becoming annoyed by the boisterous presence of these gangsters and some disputes occurred.

Under these circumstances, the fishermen received the support of Governor Alfonso Elías, who finally made the decision to expel these undesirable foreign gangsters.

Johnny Stone was ordered to withdraw and reacted badly, but not before being ordered to set fire to the hotel they had built, although in due time the historical building was reconstructed.
Presently, there are many myths surrounding the House of Stone and although after so many years it is difficult to reconstruct a fully credible version, thanks to Capone it forms part of the urban history of Puerto Peñasco as an attractive and legendary symbol that peaks the interest of locals and outsiders alike.

Come visit soon!

So come visit Rocky Point and discover the closest beach town to Phoenix, Arizona, only about 60 miles south. Keep in mind that even in whale season and for many different reasons no cruise can guarantee actual whale sightings. Suggested protocols to ensure the protection of whales during whale watching  trips:f the border.  And remember – after you visit, you’ll return frequently.  So, when that happens, remember Anchor Storage: the place to keep your things secure in Rocky Point.  It’s always easier to store your beach things, jet skis, and other large and small items than it is to haul them down time after time.

Thank you for reading The story of Al Capone and his stone house in Old Port, written by Greg Hixon of RE-MEX-IMAGE and Hixonic Web Specialists.  Be sure to check out other posts here in the Anchor Storage blog.  You’ll uncover the many wonderful aspects of Rocky Point, Mexico, from blog posts like this.

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